PiFM @ Work

Bioplastic: PiFM images of Polylactic Acid (PLA) - Alkyl Acrylate Copolymer (ACM) Composite

Bioplastic nanocomposite – PLA, PiFM and Ecology

With global attention on the role that plastics play in our ecosystem, many researchers are investigating new bioplastic or “biodegradable polymer” alternatives to reduce the ecological impact of plastic packaging. One such promising thermoplastic is polylactic acid (PLA). This bioplastic decomposes into lactic acid and can be derived from renewable resources like corn starch or sugar […] Read more

Analyzing a Cross-section of a Semiconductor Trench

Cross-section of a Semiconductor Trench

In this sample, a trench in a semiconductor device is cross-sectioned and imaged by the Vista-IR microscope. Two different materials are highlighted based on the unique IR absorption bands for each material. Twenty-five spectra are acquired across the interface of the two materials, with 10 nm spacing between each spectrum. Looking at the peak at […] Read more

Plasmid DNA pUC19 and a filamentous bacteriophage M13

Bacteriophage M13 and Plasmid DNA pUC1

Given the height of the bacteriophage M13 (3-4 nm), a single bacteriophage may have been imaged at 1720 cm-1 (C=O) and 1667 cm-1 (amide I) via PiFM. As is the case in many instances, PiFM images reveal features that are not clear in topography. Filamentous Bacteriophage M13 and Plasmid DNA pUC19 Test sample from K-Tek Nanotechnology.

Combined PiFM image of a meteorite sample shows high concentration of organic compounds in a phyllosilicate-organic composite.

Meteorite – A Search for Organic Compounds

Molecular Vista’s technology deconvolves the chemical composition of a meteorite at the nanoscale. The study of the chemical composition of meteorites should answer important questions about the nature of our early solar system by allowing scientists to investigate the possibility of liquid water and complex organic compounds being a part of a meteorite’s matrix. Could meteorites be the seeds […] Read more

Hyperspectral PiFM studies of source rock clearly and powerfully demonstrate the technique's ability to distinguish between inorganic and organic components in geologic mixtures. The differentiation between materials even extends to subclassifications of organics: aliphatic vs. aromatic REF: Eichmann, S., Nowak, D., Jacobi, D., & Burnham, N. (2018). Nanoscale Hyperspectral Characterization of Source Rock in Unconventional Reservoirs using Photo-Induced Force Microscopy. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 24(S1), 1040-1041.

Nanoscale Chemical Composition of Source Rock

Resolving the Nanoscale Chemical Composition of Source Rock using Hyperspectral Photo-Induced Force Microscopy Source rock or shale is a conglomeration of inorganic minerals –  e.g,  silicates and carbonates – interspersed with organic matter. Distinguishing the organic and inorganic phases may explain how nanoscale properties influence the properties of bulk rock. While topographic information (a) offers […] Read more

IR Spectra Replicated by PiFM Spectra

Agreement Between PiFM and Conventional IR Spectra PiFM spectra generally replicate conventional IR spectra recorded from bulk samples, shown in this example of polyethersulfone (PES). Occasionally, slight shifts in peak wavenumber and amplitude are observed in PiFM spectra, arising from the extreme sensitivity of PiFM to localized populations of molecules. One strength of the PiFM […] Read more

PiFM image at 1469 1/cm that identifies the islands as asphaltene, highlighting the sensitivity of PiFM at distinguishing between similar chemical species.

Distinguishing Subtle Chemical Variants

The chemical mapping capability of PiFM is demonstrated in an asphalt sample containing multiple related components. Note in the accompanying spectra that the signal strength for maltene is lower than asphaltene except at ~1501 cm-1 (shown in dotted circles on both PiFM and FTIR spectra). This small difference is easy to overlook until rendered in […] Read more

PiFM Mapping of Silver Nanowires in Transparent Conductors

Mapping Silver Nanowires in Transparent Conductors

These transparent conductors are composed of silver nanowires embedded in clear plastic. AFM topography (left) displays those nanowires that contribute to surface morphology. However, buried nanowires do not appear in topographic images. PiFM imaging (right) does reveal the placement of embedded nanowires by taking advantage of the enhancement of the overlying acrylate polymer signal (1745cm-1) […] Read more

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